There are lots of high-dollar audio engineering programs out there these days. Lots more than when I was starting college, that’s for sure. I wanted to go into audio engineering but “back in the day” the only way it seemed possible was to learn on the road, touring with some drug-saturated band.
No thanks. But I digress.
Chris Curran is a guy who’s been there, done that, and has actually printed the T-shirt himself. He’s a self-professed “sound geek.” He loves the audio stuff, the engineering, things like compressors and noise gates and mixers - and their digital counterparts.
In this conversation you’ll get to meet Chris, find out why podcasting is such a HUGE thing to him, and what he’s doing to help those audio geeks like himself who want to learn a valuable, lasting skill that will help move the podcasting industry forward.
Main Points :
- [1:35] An online friend I met in real-life: Chris Curran
- [5:17] How being a drummer in a band led to working in NYC as a sound engineer
- [9:00] The ultimate podcast hand-holding experience: Chris does it for his clients
- [11:30] Are you sound-checking your podcast record sessions? Here’s why you should
- [14:33] What does your listener’s situation have to do with your audio quality?
- [20:33] Finding clients who are looking for THE professional to produce their podcast
- [23:56] The only reason audio engineering exists is for the sake of the listener
You won’t find many people as passionate about audio engineering as this guy
Chris is one-of-a-kind, in a number of ways.
When speaking about audio production he says, “I’m nutty that way.” He loves to get his audio (for himself and his clients) exactly right, every time. He’s the kind of guy you want to be teaching you about audio, because you know he won’t miss anything vital and will probably throw in some things you might not know that you need to know, but will be glad you do.
That makes sense, right?
This was a fun conversation because Chris and I got to dive into his incredible story of how playing drums in a rock band eventually led him to doing sound engineering for major artists in New York City (how many podcasters can say that?) - and how he’s created a boutique kind of podcast service for large brands and high level entrepreneurs who want the best of the best of the best.
Chris is that guy, for many clients. You can hear about some of them on this episode.
Podcasting is easy, which turns out to be a bad thing from an audio engineering perspective
As many people these days are discovering, podcasting is not all that hard. It’s a beautiful thing to be able to spend a relatively short amount of time to equip yourself to know what you’re doing - then get a podcast into the world.
But then again, it’s not always a beautiful thing.
In Chris’ words, “Most podcasts out there sound horrible.” That’s why one of the most important things you can do to make your podcast stand out is to ensure that it does NOT sound horrible. An audio engineering program of some kind is a MUST for those who take their podcast seriously and want to make a difference in the lives of listeners.
Chris’ Podcast Engineering School is one of the ways you can equip yourself to stand out when it comes to the sound of your podcast. If you decide to take the leap, you’ll graduate with a skill set that (I’m guessing here) - not even 5% of the podcasters out there have.
But it might not be that you want your OWN podcast to sound great, it might be that you love the audio engineering side of things and want to set yourself up to serve clients who want THEIR podcast to sound great.
Keep listening. You’re going to hear some of the amazing things that are possible when you educate yourself to be an audio engineer for podcasts.
How Chris created a business of his own serving elite clients through audio engineering
Consider this: there are people out there who run high-profile, big name companies. Right?
What I’m about to describe may be an entirely different mindset than you have, but you have to understand that it’s REAL in the case of high-level CEOs and managers.
People in those positions OFTEN use price as a barometer of quality. In other words: they are actually LOOKING for the most expensive solutions to their problems because to them, it indicates that they’ve found the people who are the best at what they do.
Enter Chris Curran. Chris IS the best at what he does - not only teaching audio engineering but producing high-quality podcasts for big name brands and individuals. And his price tag reflects that reality.
In our conversation Chris explains why he’s able to charge higher fees for what he does, explains exactly what it is that he does for his clients, and tells why it’s a lucrative and important service that he provides.
And guess what? If you were to graduate from Chris’ Podcast Engineering School, you’d be equipped to do the same thing he’s doing.
A $2K course that’s a bargain because of what it sets you up to do
Most of us who are just getting into podcasting hear a $2000 price tag on a course like the one Chris offers and instantly disregard it.
Can I encourage you NOT to do that for one simple reason?
By comparison to traditional forms of education and the timeframe required to actually complete that course of study, what Chris is offering is an amazing bargain. For a typical college degree, you’d spend upwards of $30K. And it would take you at least 4 years to complete it.
Compare that to what Chris is offering - his lifetime of audio engineering experience, compressed into a focused, hands-on course, complete with personal Q&A and mentoring, for just $2000-ish. And you can complete the course in a matter of weeks, not years.
Then - here’s the great part - you’re skilled in a way that few others are. You have the ability and wherewithal to serve high-level clients just like Chris does - which can provide you an incredible living and the ability to work remotely, from anywhere.
If you don’t learn anything from listening to this episode (you ARE going to listen, right?), learn this: Allowing yourself to be dissuaded from an incredible opportunity because of the pricetag is a foolish choice. It’s the cost of education and it yields incredible dividends in the future.
Audio engineering exists for the sake of the listener
Think about that guy or gal, making the long journey on a commuter train or subway every morning. You’ll often see them with headphones or earbuds on, listening to… something.
What if it was a podcast? What if they were maximizing that time by taking the opportunity to change their life through what you (or your clients) are publishing?
You want that opportunity to be the BEST opportunity they could have, because you care about that listener. But it’s not as easy as hitting “record” and publishing content.
A commuter train or subway is a noisy environment. If the audio you produce is not optimized properly (the role of audio engineering), they’re not going to be able to benefit from your content, no matter how good it is.
THAT is why audio engineering - and programs like the one Chris offers - is so vital. Your listener’s education and opportunity to change their own lives for the better may depend on the quality of your audio. Have you ever thought of it that way?
Listen to hear Chris explain how he views his role as an audio engineer and why he’s such a passionate guy about what he does.
I like Chris. A lot. You will too. :)
Connect with Today’s guest, Chris Curran
- Get in on Chris’ next Podcast Engineering School
- Fractal Recording - Chris’ mothership business
- Chris’ podcast: The Podcast Engineering Show
Resources and Other Goodies Mentioned On This Episode
- Podcast Movement
- Podcast Colorado Meetup - if you live in CO, ask to join (but be sure to answer the Qs)
- Cliff Ravenscraft (AKA: the Podcast Answer Man)
- Zencastr - online recording
- Cleanfeed - online recording
- Ringr - online and smartphone recording app
- Zoom - video conferencing service
- Piezo - simple audio recording app for IOS
- Unchained Podcast - one of Chris’ clients
- The Mystic Show - one of Chris’ older podcasts
- Pat Flynn
- Stephen Hart’s at PM2018 (one of my amazing clients)
Leave your question for me to answer!
Connect with me…